December 15, 2009
The Health Department is inviting creative New Yorkers to give the NYC Condom a new look. The city-branded condom will retain its classic image, but the winning design will grace a special limited-edition package that debuts next fall. Any New Yorker at least 17 years old can submit an entry between now and January 22. During February, the Heath Department will unveil a small group of finalists -- designs that capture the city's distinctive culture while promoting safer sex. New Yorkers will then choose a final winner through an online popular vote. Besides appearing on several hundred thousand condom wrappers, the winning design may be featured in future condom promotions.
"The NYC Condom has helped New Yorkers talk about and practice safer sex," said Dr. Thomas Farley, New York City Health Commissioner. "We now give away more than 40 million condoms a year -- up from 3 million in 2002. We want to keep people excited about the brand, because we know that condoms protect health. Used correctly and consistently, they prevent HIV, sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancy. This is every New Yorker's chance to help convey that message."
New York City residents can submit design entries online (at nyc.gov/condoms) or in print (see details below). The artwork must be original, and can't include images that are copyrighted, trademarked or sexually explicit. A panel of judges, made up of artists, advertising professionals, health experts and social marketing experts, will select a small number of finalists from the qualifying entries. The finalists will then appear on the Health Department's website and the NYC Condom's Facebook page, allowing all New Yorkers to select a final winner.
"We hope creative New Yorkers will take this opportunity to promote health while showing off their talent," said Dr. Monica Sweeney, the Health Department's assistant commissioner for HIV prevention and control. "And we hope this reminds all sexually active New Yorkers to use condoms every time."
The NYC Condom is a lubricated Lifestyles male condom -- the same one sold in stores -- but has its own distinctive wrapper and is free. Any NYC-based organization, public or private, can order them at nyc.gov/condoms. As a result, individual New Yorkers can now find them in bars, clubs, restaurants, gyms and coffee houses, as well as clinics and community centers. The original 2007 design, based on a New York City subway motif, got a 2008 makeover at the hand of designer Yves Behar, who also created a sleek dispenser. This year, on Valentine's Day and National Condom Day, the NYC Condom got its own Facebook page -- facebook.com/NYCCondom -- where users can discuss sexual health and send e-condoms to their friends. New Yorkers can also receive condom-related tweets via twitter.com/nyccondom.
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Bureau of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control
ATTN: Director of Condoms and Materials Distribution
40 Worth Street, CN-A/2, Room 1602
New York, NY 10013
For complete rules and regulations, or for more information on the contest, visit nyc.gov/condoms.
New York City's condom initiative dates back to 1971, when the Health Department started distributing male condoms through its clinics. The program expanded during the 1980s when it added community-based service organizations to its distribution channels. Free female condoms were incorporated into the program in 1998. The condom initiative increased more than seven-fold in June 2005 when the Department launched an Internet-based bulk ordering system. The city-labeled NYC Condom, first of its kind in the nation, was introduced on Valentine's Day 2007. The Health Department, together with more than 2,000 community partners, now distributes more than 41 million condoms a year -- an average of 3.5 million every month -- to venues ranging from hospitals to bars and beauty salons.